Remote work became both necessary and immensely popular during the pandemic — and it looks like that popularity is here to stay. An e-survey discovered that though returns to the office are underway, the desire for telework remains strong with many European workers wishing to stay at home most days of the week. This is an unprecedented opportunity to implement a win-win solution at the workplace.
Whether it's done on a remote or hybrid model, encouraging telework means employers can save on office space and parking costs while simultaneously improving employee productivity and job satisfaction. If your call center is among those looking to hop on the trend and reap these benefits, you might be wondering how to best set your workers up at home. Below are a few tips and handy items you and your agents might find useful.
Ensure agents have a conducive workspace
When working, a quiet and distraction-free workplace is a must. Encourage agents to use a separate room — with a lock on the door — if they can. However, it's also important to acknowledge that not all agents have the space to do so. If an agent cannot afford to set aside a separate room, have them work in an underused nook that's outside their bedroom and ideally near a window, according to this article. The natural light provided by such a setting can help reduce eyestrain and headaches, improve morale, and enhance sleep quality.
Provide all the required equipment
The next step is to ensure that agents have all the basics they need to work from home. These may include broadband Internet for a more stable connection, a landline phone service, and either a corded telephone or a noise-canceling headset with a microphone. You may also want to recommend that agents forego laptops or Mac computers in favor of desktop PCs. If so, these should run on the Windows operating system, have at least a 1-2 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, come with a soundcard, and contain virus and spyware protection software.
Encourage an ergonomic work environment
Comfortable agents tend to be happier and more productive. That being said, consider providing your agents with or encouraging them to buy ergonomic accessories that are designed to enhance the work experience while boosting one's efficiency. This guide informs us how the best ergonomic chairs provide both optimal cushioning and lumbar support to improve posture and prevent back, neck, and leg pain. Meanwhile, ergonomic keyboards, mice, and wrist rests can support the wrists while lowering the risk of carpal tunnel. You can also look at computer stands that ensure PC monitors rest at eye level.
Leverage productivity software
Once your agents are set up, it's time to transfer workplace practices into the remote setting. The Google Suite of productivity tools — and especially GMail — remain popular for high-level communications and cloud storage. Platforms like Slack and Zoom are great for instant messaging and daily or weekly team calls. Accountability tools like Hubstaff and Accountable2You can track time worked and conduct quality assurance monitoring. Meanwhile, we recommend our call center scheduling product Soon for better shift management and collaboration. Such tools can help both you and your agents be more conscious of work progress even if work is being done remotely.
You may have heard that remote work encourages employees to do less, but this simply isn't true. It instead gives agents flexibility that motivates them to work harder and better from the comfort of their own homes. Hopefully, these tips and item recommendations help you formulate an effective remote or hybrid work strategy that will help your call center stride confidently forward in the post-pandemic era of work.